Souhan: Extensions, ejections, celebrities all part of Falvey’s days

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Baseball general managers have complicated jobs. They oversee the big-league product, an extensive scouting and executive staff, a large analytics department, spring training operations, overseas operations and about six minor-league teams.

They also conduct negotiations and serve at the pleasure of ownership, which will hold them accountable for results and ill-spent dollars.

On Saturday April 15 at Yankee Stadium, Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey (essentially, their GM) experienced a wild-yet-typical day for someone in his position, a day filled with surprises, wheeling, dealing, celebrity watching and reminders of the connections baseball people make throughout their lives in the game.

By the evening, he was on his way to signing Pablo López to the largest pitching contract in franchise history, he was communicating with the league offices about potential Yankee cheating, and he had gotten to spend extra quality time with manager Rocco Baldelli.

The next day, he chatted with songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda of "Hamilton" fame, cousin to Twins third baseman Jose Miranda, in the Twins clubhouse. On this Saturday, he might not have had time.

"What's hard is remembering what happened on what day,'' Falvey said.

On Saturday April 15, the Twins were playing the third in a four-game series, a day game, at Yankee Stadium. Falvey went through his morning routine, consisting of formal and informal meetings, then headed to the suite on the press-box level of Yankee Stadium, behind home plate, next to the broadcast booths, where visiting team executives sit during games.

Falvey was sitting next to Mike Herman, the team's traveling secretary, when he and Bobby Barad began texting each other.

Barad, López's agent, was at the game, but not necessarily to negotiate a contract. Falvey went down the third-base line to meet him, and ran into the family of Mike King, a reliever for the Yankees, who attended the same high school as Baldelli.

That's when Falvey found out that the baseball team from Baldelli's high school was attending the game, and the Kings asked if Falvey knew Rocco's brother, Nick. Falvey played at Trinity College with Nick.

After that conversation, Falvey and Barad found a relatively quiet space at the back of the concourse, out of view of the field. They talked about what an extension for López might look like, setting the table for the final negotiations on López's four-year, $73.5 million extension, a record for Twins pitchers.

Falvey was heading back to the booth when he pulled out his phone and saw he had missed a slew of text messages, one, from team president and CEO Dave St. Peter, asked (paraphrased): "What…happened?''

Falvey had missed Baldelli getting thrown out of the game for arguing that the umpires should not have let Yankees starter Domingo Germán stay in the game after discovering that he had a sticky substance on his hands.

"I'm trying to get on the elevator and looking at the TV, and nothing is happening,'' Falvey said. "I get down to the clubhouse and Rocco is standing there, all agitated. I said, 'What's up?' He said, 'I got tossed.' I said, 'OK, now the text messages make more sense.' "

They sat in a corner of the Yankees' visiting clubhouse, watching the game on television and discussing the ejection. When Yankee clubhouse workers neared, they decided they'd better talk in Baldelli's office, away from prying (or spying) ears.

Falvey had experienced this before, when he worked for Cleveland, and manager Terry "Tito'' Francona would get ejected. "I'd come down and say something funny to lighten the mood,'' Falvey said. "You don't get that experience very often, sitting next to the manager and discussing a game as it unfolds.''

Falvey called up the MLB TV app and rewound the game so he would know how to address the incident with the league.

The next day, Falvey got to tell Lin-Manuel Miranda how much the Falvey family enjoyed "Encanto.''

A baseball team on the road is an ever-changing cast of about 50 people touring America. It's a traveling carnival.

Thursday, López will start against the White Sox in Chicago. Likely, something intriguing or pivotal will be happening behind the scenes.